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Badger Herald stands by running ad

The Badger Herald at the University of Wisconsin -Madison was one of the first school papers to run the full-page ad entitled "why reparations for slavery is a bad idea - and racist, too," on Feb. 28. In response, protesters stormed the offices of the Badger Herald in early March after a rally denouncing the campus newspaper as a "racist propaganda machine." The crowd also protested the Herald's refusal to run an ad by a student coalition that claimed the paper had a racist agenda.

student protesters
Protesters raise their fists at the beginning of the demonstration in this Badger Herald photo from March 6. After several speakers addressed the crowd, many protesters marched to the Badger Herald offices.

In a story on March 7, the Herald explained that it refused to publish the student ad on grounds that "it was blatantly false and self-destructive toward the newspaper."

The student coalition's ad later ran in the Daily Cardinal, the student paper at the University of Wisconsin. Ironically, the Cardinal decided not to run the Horowitz ad, explaining in a March 23 editorial that "the UW-Madison campus, its record on diversity under fire and its students of color enraged at The Badger Herald's actions, was a tinderbox waiting to explode." The editorial disagreed with the business staff's decision to run the student coalition's ad too. "That advertisement, as it was worded, contained offensive, insulting attacks very similar to the ones employed by Horowitz."

Meanwhile, the Badger Herald has begun to reap nationwide praise for being the first campus paper to hold fast to its First Amendment rights. "Editorial departments including USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and the Wisconsin State Journal have applauded our 'courage' and 'principles,'" said Alexander Conant, the Herald's managing editor, in a Herald editorial on March 27. "I sleep well at night knowing we did not compromise our principles when others would have."

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